June 13, 2003

VUSN professor receives Ryan White funding to care for AIDS patients

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Dr. Jeffrey D. Horn performs the procedure to implant the miniature telescope into the eye of Gerald Torgersen.
(photos by Dana Johnson)

VUSN professor receives Ryan White funding to care for AIDS patients

Jim Pace, professor of Nursing, has been awarded a grant by the Ryan White Community AIDS Partnership to continue offering pastoral care for AIDS patients at the New Hope Foundation, a non-profit agency serving the needs of patients with a terminal diagnosis of AIDS.

The funds, totaling more than $27,000, were awarded to Pace, D.S.N., professor of Nursing and director of Pastoral and Bereavement Care Services at Priority Hospice Care.

The New Hope Foundation, a non-profit outreach of Priority Hospice, offers specialty support and care for people who are dying of AIDS, while Priority Hospice provides end-of-life care for anyone with a terminal illness.

“Pastoral care and counsel for those who are dying of AIDS can include dealing with varieties of religious and spiritual issues, as well as helping the family to get accustomed to the situation. Often times the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS is very sudden, and many times they don’t even know,” said Pace.

A portion of the funds comes from a Minority Initiatives grant to target African-Americans with a terminal AIDS diagnosis. Pace says approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of the AIDS patients he sees through the New Hope Foundation are African-American.

“This opportunity is a great way to honor the memory of Ryan. His life lives on today in the service of patients facing a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS,” he said.

Ryan White was a hemophiliac who was diagnosed with AIDS after receiving a tainted blood transfusion. He died in 1990 after a tireless effort to educate people about AIDS nationwide.